By Ammitai Worob, D.C.
If you're like me, you've found yourself at GreenStar wandering into the Wellness section and standing in a state of semi-awe before a myriad of nutritional supplements ranging from A to Zinc. All those different brands, labels, combinations! If you didn't go in for something specific, you probably left in a swirl of confused thoughts like, "I wonder what makes one probiotic better than another" or "Isn't garlic supposed to be good for heart health? Should I be taking that?" Maybe you also subscribe to Dr. Mercola's e-newsletter or pick up the occasional health magazine and find yourself wondering, "Could 85 percent of Americans really be magnesium deficient?" or "Am I getting enough protein? And if so is it the right kind?"
In this information age, it's hard to sort out fact from fiction, and it's easy to go down a rabbit hole of information and get lost in the noise. Many food co-op shoppers have chosen to embark on a journey of healthful eating for a full and happy life. This journey can be difficult to navigate, in part because there are so many experts and so few areas of agreement on what is "best" or what is "true." Worse yet, even within one paradigm, the experts often change their minds or find new research that contradicts earlier thought. Just look at two peer-reviewed research articles from last year: British Medical Journal, Feb. 2013: "Women who took calcium supplements doubled their chances of a heart attack and had a higher mortality rate." Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, May 2013: "Women who took calcium supplements lowered their mortality rates."
One fact beyond debate is that the top killers in this country are largely preventable lifestyle-driven diseases. America's top killer, heart disease, is both preventable and reversible. Certain cancers and associated diseases, such as lung cancer and respiratory diseases, can also be prevented in the majority of cases. And do you know that the fourth leading cause of death in the US is iatrogenic (caused by medical intervention)? Yes, it's true — just behind heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the next most potent killer is medical care itself. Old Ben Franklin clearly had it right: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (At some point, the focus of our health-care system will be forced, kicking and screaming, to face this reality. Our current system is wholly unsustainable. But that's a topic for another discussion.)
I am fortunate that, in my practice, much of the remedial work of basic nutritional counseling has already been addressed. Few people who seek out my expertise start from a place of eating a standard American diet, but typically already prioritize whole foods, often organic or local or both. Yet they still have some issue that they've found difficult to transcend. They may have a condition or set of conditions that allopathic medicine or complementary and alternative medicine therapies have failed to adequately address. They may have tried a variety of diets and still feel they haven't landed on the right one. They may eat well and thrive, but their household doesn't follow suit. In that case, creating affordable, healthy meals that are appetizing to the entire family becomes quite a challenge.
I'm excited to team with GreenStar for the upcoming "Dinner with the Doctor," a three-part Food as Medicine series at The Space. In this series, we'll address macronutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) in Part I; micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in Part II; with the final installment, "A Plan for You," tying in the information of the first two parts while addressing specific concerns of series participants to help them craft a plan to put into action. The terrific catering team at GreenStar will provide dinner each time to accompany the interactive workshops. I look forward to meeting those who attend and helping you get even more out of your GreenStar membership!
Dr. Ammitai Worob will hold his first "Dinner with the Doctor" session at GreenStar on Wednesday, Sept. 17 from 5:30 to 7 pm. For more details see page 10. Dr. Worob received his Doctorate in Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College. He is also a licensed massage therapist and holds a degree in Psychology. Dr. Worob is passionate about helping to uplift the overall health of our community through education, and is the organizer of Ithaca's Community Wellness Day. He founded Sea Change Family Chiropractic on the traditional principles of chiropractic and the belief that every person deserves to live a healthy life.